For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Iranian Election

WASHINGTON - MUHAMMAD SAHIMI
Sahimi is professor of chemical engineering at the University of Southern California. Several of his articles about the election are available here.

He also recently wrote a New York Times oped titled "Iran's Power Struggle." He contrasted Iran's election system with U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.

NIKI AKHAVAN
Akhavan is an Iranian American and a visiting professor at Catholic University. She is voting in the Iranian election.

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REESE ERLICH
Currently in Tehran, freelance foreign correspondent Erlich is available for a limited number of interviews with major media. His books include The Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis.

Erlich said today: "While U.S. leaders are apoplectic about Iran's nuclear power program and alleged support of terrorism, Iranians are mainly voting about the economy. President Ahmadinejad's administration has driven up inflation to 23.6 percent and unemployment to 11 percent. Some Iranians support his populist measures such as doubling pensions and raising government worker salaries. Others point out that his subsidies to the poor don't create jobs, but just drive up inflation. All indications are that the race is tightening between Ahmadinejad and moderate reformist Mir Hussein Mousavi."

Erlich is in Tehran on assignment for Marketplace Radio, ABC Radio (Australia) and the Dallas Morning News.
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